Finale of ‘Empire’ draws 17.6 million viewers

NEW YORK (AP) — With a standard-setting finale to its first season reaching 17.6 million viewers, Fox’s music business drama “Empire” has proven that it’s still possible for broadcast television to create big hits.

The Nielsen company said that’s how many people watched the second of two “Empire” episodes to air Wednesday night. The first hour was seen by 15.8 million people.

It represented the most popular finale for a television drama’s first season since ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2005.

The series achieved the almost unheard-of feat of gaining viewers with each episode following a January debut seen by 9.9 million people on its first night.